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Mental Health Support Team: how do we work?

MHSTs work in collaboration with the CYP, school and home to support the CYP presenting needs as we work on the premise that we all have responsibility to look after CYP's Mental Health and Wellbeing.

MHSTs utilise a multi-tiered early intervention approach delivering evidence-based interventions within schools for mild to moderate mental health concerns. This, for example, could include mild to moderate anxiety and/or low mood.

We work as part of a graduated responseto support and therefore the expectation is that school based interventions have been implemented prior to MHST involvement.

Our interventions are short-term (6-8 weeks long) that aim to help CYP and their families feel more able to self-manage their feelings and mental health.

Interventions on offer

MHSTs deliver 1:1 and group interventions, either directly with CYP (if aged 11years+) or indirectly with parents/carers and school staff.

Some of the interventions delivered by the team include:

  • Psychoeducation - information sharing and exploration about what anxiety and/or low mood is
  • CBT informed practice - CBT is focussed in the now, therefore MHST practitioners are not concerned with the "why" this is happening but more "what" is keeping these feelings going- e.g. our thoughts, feelings and behaviours
  • Behavioural Activation for low mood - involves exploration of the cycles which maybe keeping the feelings of low mood going
  • Worry Management for Generalised Anxiety and Graded Exposure for specific fears/phobias
  • Cognitive restructuring - exploration of the thinking styles and particular thoughts that may be keeping them stuck in the present
  • Counselling support - provides a safe space for reflective, collaborative exploration of current situation and experiences
  • FRIENDS and Feelings Detectives groups - resilience interventions for children and young people with emerging anxiety difficulties. After participating in the programme it is children and young people report a reduction in symptoms of anxiety and low mood. Additional outcomes include participants developing coping and resilience strategies to deal with stress and worries which support emotional and social skills
  • Emotion Coaching parenting groups - is for parents/carers who may be struggling to manage their child's behaviour at home, or struggling to understand their child's emotions. The group is for parents/carers whose relationships with their children are difficult or where their child's emotional needs are getting in the way of a healthy and happy home life. The group aims to empower parents/carers to share their personal experiences and expertise, as part of a peer/group learning approach
  • Peer Mentoring - a 10 week, evidence based approach to peer to peer support
  • Whole School Approach work - including training sessions, workshops, staff well-being survey and support

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